Welcome to the first official Lesson from Jove. I’m glad you’re here.

If you missed the introduction to this 12-part blog series, here’s a quick run down. In February 2016, my beloved horse Jove died. He was my best friend and my teacher, and he helped change many people’s lives. To honor his memory and teachings, I am writing this series, Lessons from Jove. You can read the introduction to the series here.

I could barely hold it together when looking at the pictures of Jove working with my good friend and client, Teri Wade, whose story I was preparing to share in this blog. The photos took me back in time and reminded me of what a powerful presence Jove had and how seriously he took his job. There could have been a parade going by and it wouldn’t have distracted him from holding space for her. I’d been friends with Teri for years, but those pictures show a softness and vulnerability in her. It was those emotions that became the key to deeply transforming her love life that day.

Teri had a tendency to “settle” for men with whom she wasn’t compatible, and because of that, she hadn’t yet experienced a truly fulfilling relationship with a man. Breaking up with someone who wasn’t right for her had always felt so painful, that the idea of finding and then losing someone who was right for her felt like it might actually kill her. While Teri had already done a lot of work to overcome this block, she thought there was still a piece of it that she couldn’t see. She was excited to work with Jove and me to bring that to light and move beyond it.

Jove was adept at showing people their blocks, but he could also tell when it was time to move on to the next step. He knew that what Teri needed was a visceral experience of what true love feels like.

Jove delivered many profound messages that day, but after talking with Teri more deeply about her experience that day, it became clear that true love differed from the kind of romantic love she’d always known in the past in three primary ways.

Here are The 3 Telltale Signs of True Love:

1. Authenticity Instead of Playing Games.

As we walked to the round pen (the enclosed area we used for sessions with clients), I explained to Teri that people’s energy tends to be in one of four places when meeting and interacting with the horse: energy forward, energy back, energy vertical, and the energy dance. This is usually a pretty good indicator of how they meet and interact with people.

At the start of her session, Teri stood on the opposite side of the round pen from Jove, trying to decide what she was going to do. She had no interest in being too “energy forward” and causing him to run away from her. Teri believed her only other option was to be the one being pursued, and Jove wasn’t going to do that. Her epiphany came when she realized that staying “energy back” meant she couldn’t be near him and might lose the opportunity to connect. She realized there was an in-between place.

Throughout the rest of the session, there was a “natural draw” between Jove and Teri that wasn’t forced in any way. Regardless of what Teri was doing—whether she was approaching him, hanging out by his side, or walking away—Jove was okay with it. By the end, there wasn’t anything she could do or say with which he would find fault. She could be herself and do whatever felt right in the moment, and he would always want to be with her.

2. Grateful Instead of Demanding.

At one point in the session, Teri noticed there was some grass that Jove was having trouble reaching just outside the round pen. She bent to pick a handful for him. Just as she reached for the grass, she paused and thought to herself, “What if he doesn’t like it?”

Teri decided to pick the grass and take the risk anyway, and Jove did like it. So she picked a little more for him, but she didn’t want to sit and pick grass for him all day either. When she was done, he didn’t pester her for more. It was almost like Jove knew Teri was getting the message that it shouldn’t all be about what he wanted. A real gentleman wouldn’t take advantage of her generosity. He would be grateful for whatever she wanted to offer.

(And by the way, this was not typical Jove behavior. He was a horse who really liked his grass and could be quite pushy about getting to it.)

3. Respect Instead of Co-dependency.

Toward the end of Teri’s session, I had the intuitive sense that we needed to finish her session back in Jove’s pasture with a couple of other horses. Once in the pasture, Teri and the other horses started walking toward each other, leaving Jove behind. She was twenty or so steps away from him when she stopped. Teri didn’t say this out loud, but she shared later what she was thinking: “Oh shit! That was rude of me!”

As soon as Teri stopped and glanced back at him, Jove looked at her, ears pricked inquisitively, as if asking, “What about me? Do you like them better than me? What about this beautiful weekend we just had together?” Teri turned toward Jove and waited for him to catch up before going over to meet his friends.

At that point, one of the other horses—a big, flashy, handsome gelding—sidled over toward Teri in a rather dramatic and bold display of dominance. Jove, though he was lower than this other horse in the herd pecking order, came to Teri’s defense by gently wrapping his neck around her in a subtle, yet obviously, protective gesture.

To Teri, this move from Jove was not about jealousy, but rather an awareness of what a great “catch” she was. He was showing his vulnerability (not playing games, acting macho, or like he didn’t care). This elicited in her a feeling of thoughtfulness and attentiveness toward Jove. She felt mindful of Jove’s feelings and reassured him that she was there for him just he like he was there for her.

What characterizes true love for you?

Teri and Jove - Lessons from JoveTeri had her own experience of working with Jove that was for her, but whether you know it or not, you just had your own experience of working with Jove.

You don’t have to be in the session to get something out of it that’s specifically for you.

And if Jove could speak to you directly right now, he’d want you to know that true love is available to all of us. Your relationships can be built on authenticity, gratitude, and respect, no matter what your dominant patterns are right now.

Whether your takeaways were the same as Teri’s or completely different, I know you read this post for a reason (we perceive everything through our own lens).

I want to hear from you. What is one thing that characterizes the true love connection for you, that so far has been missing from your relationship? I invite you to share that with me in the comments section below.

Stay tuned for the next Lessons from Jove on Monday, May 2nd. You can subscribe here to make sure you receive every blog in this series directly to your inbox, and feel free to share it far and wide. I’m so excited to bring you these stories so you can experience the benefits of Jove’s messages and wisdom for yourself.